Monday, May 3, 2010
Had a great time in Cincinnati at the Flying Pig Marathon! I drove down Saturday morning with my wife and kids. We went right to the Expo where we met up with a ton of great guys (see the Facebook photo album plus also not pictured: Mike (Morgan859) & Jason Zacher. It was great putting names with the faces and sharing a lot of laughs together.
Saturday night, a bunch of us met up in the Marriott Rivercenter lobby bar to yuck it up. Seems like most of us were staying at the same hotel. We had a good time but wished we could stay out longer but couldn't given the 6:30am race start on Sunday.
Kevin Gwin of the Extra Mile Podcast made arrangements for my wife and kids to help out in the finish area passing out food, mylars, and medals. After sending me off at the race start and cheering me on at two different spots early on in the marathon, my family helped out at the finish. They were honored to help out!
The race started with thunderstorms but staedily let up on the rain as the race went on. It was warm (60s?) and the light rain later felt refreshing.
There were plenty of hills early on. I ran all of them up and down. Big mistake, especially having run down the hills quite fast. The hills took a lot of energy out of me. I was happy to finish the major hills.
All was well until my left hip flared up at around the half marathon point of the race. From there on I had to really concentrate on good form to minimize the pain. From mile 17-20, I was starting to feel quite tired. I managed to trot along and then got my second wind at around mile 21. From there I settled into a steady, but quicker pace and finished the race to the pure joy of seeing my daughter greet me at the finish and drape the medal on me. My son and wife were right there too and we had the best family hug. It was the best marathon moment ever! I can't thank my family enough for being so supportive as well as Kevin Gwin for making it possible for them to volunteer at the finish and greet me as well.
After the race, I received a text message reporting my official time as 5:18:11. I couldn't believe it, it was a PR! With the fatigue, rain, hills, work stress, missed breakfast, and lack of sleep I was very pleasantly surprised! The time was 9 minutes better than last year's Marine Corps Marathon and 15 seconds better than my previous PR at Chciago 2004! I was so happy! What a great race and weekend.
I would love to plan a race where runners from all over can come and get to know everyone. Facebook, Twitter, Daily Mile are all great examples of connecting with fellow runners. However, meeting folks in person is the best! What a great group of friends we all have. I am very grateful. It would a blast to hook up each year in person and run a race together. Stay tuned for more cause I think this idea will get some legs!
It's good to be back home now. I'm very happy with the weekend and I'm glad to have had such a great experience. I will savor it for a long time!
Thanks to everyone for the encouragement before and congrats received after the race. It means so much to me. I am very appreciative. I hope wherever you are, that you have safe, happy, and rewarding running adventures as well.
From the 2010 Flying Pig Marathon,
All the best,